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Parsha Mitzvot-Mishpatim-Imrei Shaul: Mitzvah 55 – Concept 517

“If a man shall give his fellow a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any animal to safeguard, and it died or was broken or was looted, without an eyewitness; an oath of God shall be between them both that he did not lay his hand upon the property of his fellow; the owner shall accept it and he shall not pay. If it shall be stolen from him, he shall pay to its owner. If it shall be torn to death, he shall produce a witness; for a torn animal he does not pay.” (Exodus 22:9-11) The courts must carry out the laws of a hired worker and hired guard. (Rambam, Hilchot Sechirut – The Laws of Hiring)

“An oath of God shall be between them,” refers to the oath our soul makes to God when it is about to enter this world that it will strive to be righteous and avoid wickedness will “be” there for the person as a help between “them,” the Good and Evil Inclinations. (Rabbi Shaul Yedidyah Elazar of Modhitz – Imrei Shaul)

It is worthwhile to reflect on how so many and such diverse commentaries address all these laws of safeguarding the property of another as a parallel to our safeguarding our souls.

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